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Thailand Thailand

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Thailand – Quick View
ECR score63 (Mar 2011)
ECR rank42 (Mar 2011)
Economic
GDP 2010pUSD 316.65 billion
GNI per capita PPP (2010)USD 8,001
FDI inflow ( Jan. to Nov.)USD 4,989.98 million
Inflation 20103.4%
Central bank assets 2010USD 176,570.62 million
Unemployment rate 2010 (Q3)0.8%
Government Deficit 2009USD 12.166 billion
Tax revenue 2010USD 3,975.74 billion
Political
Government typeConstitutional Monarchy
Recent political crisis2006 military coup
Economic freedom score62nd
Freedom of information score153rd
Corruption perception index78th
Structural
Birth rate13.21 per ‘000
Population balanceUnder 15 – 20.3%
Population balanceOver 65 – 9%
Life expectancyMale – 71.02 years
Life expectancyFemale - 75.82 years
Mortality rate9 per ‘000
Literacy rate94%
Internet access28.81%

[Top] Economic Overview

Thailand has a free-enterprise economy. Thailand’s GDP is heavily dependent on exports. The country is a major exporter of textiles, rice and rubber, and is the world's largest producers of tungsten and tin. Major industries include tourism, electronics, gems and jewellery, footwear, textiles, clothing, mobiles.

In the 2008 economic crisis, the country’s exports were severely affected due to the falling demand from the other developed markets, Thailand’s unstable political conditions have also impacted the country’s growth.

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

The country’s GDP in 2010 is projected to be THB 10,102.9 billion, as compared to THB 9,041.5 billion in 2009.

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

Thailand GDP and GDP growth rate

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

GDP per capita

The GDP per capita at current prices in 2009 was THB 142,426, as compared to THB 143,170 in 2008.

Thailand GDP per capita

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

Gross national income (GNI) per capita

The GNI per capita at PPP in 2010 amounted to USD 8,001, increasing 15.03% over 2005.
Thailand GNI per capita at PPP

(Source: UNDP)

Individual tax rate

The tax rate for individuals ranges from 0% to 37% depending on their income.

Net income (THB)

Rate (%)

0 – 150,000

0

150,001 – 500,000

10

500,001 – 1,000,000

20

1,000,001 – 4,000,000

30

4,000,001 and Above

37

(Source: taxrates.cc)

Inflation rate

Inflation rate in Thailand in 2010 was 3.3%. The country saw deflation in 2009 where the rate was recorded at -0.9% from 5.5% in 2008.

Thailand Inflation Rate

 

(Source:  Bank of Thailand)

FDI inflow

The net flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2010 (Jan to Nov) was THB 159,204.51 million.

Thailand FDI

 (Source: Bank of Thailand)

Central bank of Thailand assets

The table below displays the assets of Central Bank of Thailand. The bank’s assets have increased to THB 5,633,453 million from THB 5,093,028 million in 2009.


Assets of Central bank of Thailand (THB million)

 

December 2010

December 2009

Monetary Gold and SDRs

183,806

148,726

Currency and Deposits

693,426

773,084

Securities Other Than Shares

4,605,205

4,025,906

Loans

12,466

17,749

Shares and Other Equity

1,527

1,719

Other Accounts Receivable

126,907

116,485

Nonfinancial Assets

10,118

9,359

Total Assets

5,633,453

5,093,028

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

[Top] Financial Indicators & Government Financial

Consumer price index (CPI)

The headline CPI in 2010 is projected to be 107.96, as compared to 104.5 in 2009. The core CPI in 2010 was projected to be 103.57 as compared to 102.6 in 2009.

Thailand Consumer Price Index

 

 

Base year, 2007 = 100

 

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

Interest rates (saving deposits and time deposits)

 

Banks

Saving (%)

Fixed

3 months (%)

6 months (%)

12 months (%)

24 months (%)

Commercial Banks registered in Thailand

0.62 - 1.7

1.1 - 2.15

1.4 - 2.25

1.6 - 2.85

2 - 3

Foreign Bank Branches

0.1 - 1.25

0.25 - 1.75

0.25 - 2

0.25 - 2.25

0.7 - 2.5

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

Money supply

Thailand Money Supply

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

International reserves

The country’s international reserves position for the 2010 was estimated to be USD 172.1 billion.

Thailand International Reserves

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

Government expenditure

The government expenditure for 2009 was THB 1,698,492.3 million, increasing from the previous year when it was THB 1,584,183.5 million.

Government Expenditure (THB million)

 

2009

2008

Compensation of employees

638,552.17

583,792

Use of goods and services

448,378.56

336,230.29

Consumption of fixed capital

46,271.17

40,156.3

Interest

97,372.06

107,819.26

Subsidies

25,583.42

46,531.7

Grants

326,664.1

360,891.94

Social benefits

114,240.01

86,818

Other expense

1,430.84

21,944.03

Expenditure

1,698,492.3

1,584,183.5

 (Source: National Statistics)

Official exchange rate

THB/ USD rate for 2010 was at 31.73. Furthermore, the exchange rate for 2006 was 37.93 per USD.

Thailand Exchange Rate

 

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

Government finances

Sovereign debt dynamics

 

Fiscal balance

The fiscal deficit in 2009 was 4.8% of the GDP, which worsened from a deficit of 0.3% in 2008. The cash deficit in 2009 amounted to THB 420.3 billion. The country is projected to have fiscal deficits in 2010 and 2011 amounting to THB 200.4 billion and THB 314.3 billion respectively.

Thailand Fiscal Balance

 

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

Total public outstanding debt

Total public outstanding debt in 2011 was projected to reach THB 4,000.50 billion and domestic debt was expected to be at THB 3,616 billion.

Thailand Public debt

 

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

Total revenue

Total government revenue for 2009 was THB 1,502,026.9 million, which declined as compared to 2008 when its revenue was THB 1,653,394.5 million.

Government Revenue

2009 (THB million)

2008 (THB million)

Taxes

1,321,273.1

1,460,500.7

Grants

1,351.4

1,686.6

Other revenue

179,402.46

191,207.3

Revenue

1,502,026.9

1,653,394.5

(Source: National Statistics)

Tax revenue

The total tax collected for the 2010 was THB 1,264,845.28 billion, while for 2009 it was THB 1,138,645.33 billion.

Month

FY2010 (THB billion)

FY2009 (THB billion)

Total

1,264,845.279

1,138,645.327

October

72,228.34

78,022.18

November

85,308.33

83,211.17

December

72,714.38

65,844.33

January

81,157.95

74,948.35

February

71,905.88

64,025.53

March

93,617.66

82,052.89

April

78,895.52

70,836.67

May

238,473.27

181,920.20

June

83,663.07

124,278.36

July

83,492.10

69,819.97

August

222,538.06

175,090.93

September

80,850.74

68,594.74

(Source: Revenue Department)

Current account balance - surplus/deficit

Thailand has registered a current account surplus for the last four years and is further expected to register surplus in 2010 as well. The current account balance in 2010 was USD 14.7 billion, as compared to USD 21.8 billion in 2009.

Thailand Current Account Balance

 (Source: Bank of Thailand)

Balance of payments

The country generated surplus in 2010 of THB 439,600.44 million, where as in 2008 the country had a deficit of THB 14,265.97 million.

Balance of Payments (THB million)

 

2010

2009

Exports (f.o.b.)

6,120,927.59

5,155,054.37

Imports (c.i.f.)

-5,681,327.14

-4,485,935.34

Trade balance

439,600.44

669,119.03

Net services income & transfers

23,892.98

85,355.33

Current account balance

463,493.43

754,474.37

Capital and financial account

494,554.25

-101,685.89

Monetary authorities

84,154.73

50,005.17

Government

106,799.28

19,493.87

Bank

311,948.41

260,686.92

Others

-8,348.18

-431,871.87

Net errors & omissions

28,251.40

171,811.71

Balance of payments (Surplus)

986,299.09

824,600.18

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

[Top] Labour Force and Employment Overview

The working age population (above 15 years) in the country is 53.7 million. The total labour force included 38.95 million individuals, of which 21.06 million were males and 17.9 million were females.

In the period between October and December 2010, 38.51 million individuals were employed, as compared to 38.25 million in the corresponding period in 2009.

The unemployment rate in the country at the end of the fourth quarter of 2010 was 0.8%, as compared to 1% in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Thailand Unemployment Rate

 

(Source: National Statistics)

The total labour force participation rate in Thailand was 73% for the year 2008. Specifically, for females, the participation rate was 66%, while for males it was 81%.

(Source: World Bank)

Minimum wage

As of 2010, the minimum wages prevailing in the country ranges from 151 THB to 206 THB depending upon the cost of living in a province. However, the average minimum wage is 176.3 THB per day.

(Source: news)

Level of unionisation

Trade unions are not well organised and generally considered weak and rarely are engaged in any conflicts.

Thailand has ten trade union,s among which there are only two unions affiliated to ICFTU (International Confederation of Free Trade Union) which are:

  • Thai Trade Union Congress (TTUC)
  •  Labour Congress of Thailand (LCT) 

(Source: ILO)

[Top] Political Stability

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy.  The country has faced 18 military coups d’état since 1932, with the latest one in 2006. A democratic government returned to power in December 2007. At present, the government is headed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. Thailand’s political uncertainty has had a negative impact on the economic interest of the country.

The Prime Minister is the head of the government and also the chairman of the cabinet.  The King of Thailand is the head of the state. The King’s powers are exercised through the government.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the head of the state and assumed the throne in 1946 and is the world’s longest reigning monarch.

The country’s parliament, also known as the Rathasapha/ National Assembly is bicameral and has two chambers:

  • Saphaphuthan Ratsadon / House of Representatives
  • Wuthisapha / Senate

The House of Representatives is comprised of 480 directly elected members. These members are elected for a term of four years.

The Senate is comprised of 150 members, of which 76 are directly elected and 74 are indirectly elected by a Senate Selection Committee. The members are elected for a term of six years.

(Source: state.gov, IPU)

Regulatory environment in Thailand

The country’s economic freedom score is 64.7 making its economy the 62nd freest in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom. Furthermore, Thailand ranks 10th out of 41 countries in the Asia and Pacific region. Thailand’s overall score is higher than the global and regional averages.

Thailand Economic Freedom Indices

Source: (heritage.org)

Corruption perception

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is a survey to measure the perceived level of corruption across countries worldwide. Thailand is ranked 78th on this list which indicates that the corruption levels in the public departments in the country is fairly high.

Thailand has gained six ranks on the CPI rankings since 2009.

(Source: transparency.org)

Freedom of information

The government and military has control over nearly all national television networks and operates many of Thailand's radio networks.

The media has the freedom to criticise government policies and cover corruption and human rights abuse cases. However, journalists exercise self-censorship regarding the military, the monarchy, the judiciary and other sensitive issues.

 (Source: BBC)

World Press Freedom Index 2010 ranks Thailand at 153rd rank with a score of 56.83.

(Source: rsf.org)

Newspapers

There are 18 major Thai-language daily newspapers, three major English-language dailies, and four major Chinese-language dailies.

  • Bangkok Post
  • The Nation
  • Daily News
  • Thairath

 (Source: BBC)

Judicial system

Thailand's current constitution was established in 2007, replacing an interim constitution of 2006 after a coup. Since, 1932 Thailand has had as many as 17 constitutions and charters.

The general courts are categorised into:

  • Civil Courts
  • Criminal Courts
  • Municipal Courts
  • Provincial Courts

Every province has its own provincial courts and municipal courts.

(Source: Thailand Court, ide)

[Top] Demographic Overview

The total population of Thailandis estimated at 67.2 million.

(Source: boi)

Gender balance

The gender ratio is balanced, with 96.8 males for every 100 females in 2009.

 (Source: UN)

Thailand Population by Gender

Population by age structure

20.3% of the country’s population is below 15 years of age and 9% are aged 65 years and above. The remaining 70.7% population are between 15 and 64 years of age.

Median sge and life expectancy

The median age of males and females is 32.9 years and 34.7 years respectively. The average median age of the population is 33.7 years. 

The life expectancy 73.36 years. Specifically, for males and females was registered at 71.02 and 75.82 years respectively.

Birth and death rate

The birth rate in 2010 was estimated at 13.21 births per 1,000 individuals. The death rate in the same year was estimated at 7.2 deaths per 1,000 population.

(Source: boi)

The mortality rate of infants (per 1,000 live births) was recorded at 6.8 for the period between 2005 and 2010.

(Source: UN)

Migration and urbanisation

In 2007, the urban population made up 32.9% of the total population. In the period 2005-2010, the urban population grew at an annual rate of 1.7%, while the rural population grew at a rate of 0.2% annually.

International migrant stock till mid 2010 was recorded at 1,157,300 people, or 1.7% of the entire population.

(Source: UN)

Ethnic environment

Ethnic groups in Thailand are:

  • Thai – 75%
  • Chinese – 14%
  • Uncategorised – 11%

 (Source: boi)

Human development index (HDI)

The country ranks 92nd out of 169 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) 2010 conducted by the United Nations. The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and gross enrolment in education) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income). 

(Source: UNDP)

Poverty indicator

Poverty Indicator

2000

2002

2004

2006

2007

2008

Poverty line (THB/person/month)

1,135

1,190

1,242

1,386

1,443

1,579

Poverty incidence (%)

20.98

14.93

11.16

9.55

8.48

8.95

Poverty headcount (millions)

12.60

9.10

7.00

6.10

5.40

5.80

As of 2008, 5.2 million individuals or 90% of the poor were from the rural areas.

(Source: nesdb)

[Top] Soft Infrastructure

education

Thailand’s adult literacy rate for the period between 2003 and 2008 was 94%.

(Source:UNICEF)

The Thai system consists of 12 years of free basic education. However, the government plans to expand the duration of free education from 12 to 15 years.

The current education system is based on the 1999 National Education Act, which implemented new organisational structures and also promoted the decentralisation of administration.

The expenditure on education is about 4.9% of the GDP.

(Source: Ministry of Education, UNDP)

Healthcare

The healthcare system in the country is categorised into four levels:

Level 1: Covers services for individuals such as curative care, health promotion, disease prevention and rehabilitation

Level 2: Healthcare services for family and community health

Level 3: Activities including solid waste disposal, water supply and road safety

Level 4: All activities related to health

The expenditure on health increased from THB 25,315 million in 1980 to THB 434,974 million in 2005. The health expenditure as a percentage of GDP increased from 3.8% to 6.1% in the same period. Furthermore, the per capita spending on health also increased from THB 545 in 1980 to THB 6,994 in 2005.

(Source: Ministry of Health)

[Top] Hard Infrastructure

Mass public transport in the country includes roads and railways. Bangkok is Thailand’s main transportation hub and is the centre for airways, railways and buses.

The railway is state owned and has a network of 3,870 kim.

(Source: Asian info)

Ports

Major ports in Thailand include Bangkok Modern Terminal, Port of Bangkok, Port of Chiang Khong, Port of Chiang Saen, Erawan Terminal, Port of Kantang, Port of Khanom, Port of Koh Si Chang, Port of Krabi, Port of Laem Chabang, Port of Map Ta Phut, Port of Phrapradang, Port of Phuket, Prachuap Port, Port of Ranong, Port of Rayong, Port of Samui, Sattahip Comercial Port, Port of Songkhla and Sriracha Harbour.

(Source: World port source)

Airports

Thailand’s largest airport is Don Muang International Airport located in northern Bangkok.

 

Town

Airport name

Runway length (ft.)

Bangkok

Bangkok Intl

12,100

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Intl

10,100

Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai Intl

9,800

Khon Kaen

Khon Kaen

9,100

Lop Buri

Khok Kathiam

7,100

Nakhon Pathon

Kamphaeng Saen

8,800

Nakhon Ratchasima

Khorat

9,800

Nakhon Sawan

Takhli

9,800

Phitsanulok

Phitsanulok

9,800

Phuket

Phuket Intl

9,800

Rayong

U-Taphao Intl

11,400

Sakon Nakhon

Sakon Nakhon

8,500

Songkhla

Hat Yai Intl

10,000

Surat Thani

Surat Thani

8,200

Ubon Ratchathani

Ubon Ratchathani

9,800

Udon Thani

Udon Thani

10,000

(Source: Air charter world)

Telecommunications networks

Thailand Telecom Subscribers

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

Internet penetration rate

The internet penetration rate in the country increased steadily to reach 28.81% in 2009 from 11.25% in 2004.

Thailand Internet Penetration Rate

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

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